Monday, March 19, 2012

Party time! Star Wars Edition

Back around Christmas, J asked if he could have a Star Wars-themed birthday party. This gave me lots of time to plan and prepare. I can honestly say that this party was a lot of fun for me. J, at that time, mainly knew about Star Wars because of the Star Wars Legos so that's where I started my planning. Right after Christmas, I went to the Lego store to check out their clearance items. I found some great Lego Star Wars Magnet sets (3 mini-figure magnets on clearance for $3.49) and some Lego Star Wars key chains on clearance for $0.98. I bought 4 packs of magnets and 10 key chains. Then I started collecting other little goodies as I saw them. Next, I went on Pinterest for inspiration. So many great ideas out there. This is what I ended up doing.

I let J invite 8 friends from his class. Five ended up being able to attend. So with J and N, we had 7 children which was perfect. The children watched part of a Star Wars movie while waiting for everyone to arrive.

Here is everyone waiting for the last child to arrive:

Our first game was a light saber building contest. I built 3 light saber bases out of black and gray Duplo blocks and gave each team a base. Then I put a pile of red, blue and green square Duplo blocks in between the three teams (I precounted out these blocks so we had an equal number of each color.) They then raced to build their light saber before the other teams.This was a really simple game, but they seemed to enjoy it. It was a quick way to get everyone involved in the party. We picked teams by letting each of the older children pick a "card" and then finding the person with a matching card. The cards were actually holographic Star Wars Valentines that I got on clearance for $0.10. N was a bonus member of the blue team.

Our next game was pin the light saber on Yoda. I saw this idea on Pinterest, but it was originally from this blog. We found a picture of Yoda from one of our coloring books and enlarged it at the copy store. Then we simply cut it out, colored it in, and glued it to a piece of posterboard. I found a sleep mask and J decorated it with Star Wars stickers. The light sabers were cut out of extra large post-its (from the sticky strip--so they stuck easily).
After the "pinner" got blindfolded, we spun them three times while the children said, "Turn, turn, turn. May the force be with you." They thought that was pretty funny and it kept everyone involved.

Our next game was a punchbox. This is an idea I first saw on Tip Junkie. It's an alternative to doing a pinata. You take a display board and cut circles out of it. Then you glue tissue paper over the hole (from the backside so the front looks pretty). Then you put some goodies (I did a mini Star Wars fruit roll-up and two pieces of candy) into a paper bag. Cut the top of the paper bag off to make it shorter, and then tape the paper bag over the tissue paper covering the hole. Then the children simply pick a hole, punch through the tissue paper and get their goodies. I forgot to take a before picture, but here is a picture of J punching the board.
Here's the front of the punchbox after it's been punched:
Here's a picture of the back so you can see how it is done:
The punchbox went really fast, but the children seemed to really enjoy it. N's already requested that we do it again at his birthday party.

To get more info about making a punchbox, there are tutorials here and here.

Next, we did a scavenger hunt. I had rounded up a few different goodies and wanted a fun way to give them to the children--versus just handing the treats to them in a bag at the end of the party. I gave each child a brown paper bag with his or her name on it and read the first clue. Each clue started with a description of their mission as Jedis in training. The second part was a clue to where to go next. Each stop had a brown bag with a treat for each child and a new clue.

The first clue:

The first goodie (a Star Wars pencil with Qui-Gon Jinn--leftover from J's Valentine's) and the second clue:
The second goodie (a glow bracelet "light saber") and the third clue:
The children loved running up and down the stairs to get from clue to clue. They really got into the scavenger hunt!

The third goodie (a pixie stick "light saber") and the fourth clue:
The fourth goodie (a Bossk Lego key chain) and the fifth clue:
The final stop (black playdough and glitter to make galaxy dough).

The end of the scavenger hunt led us to the makings for our next activity--making galaxy dough. This was another idea I found on Pinterest. I followed the playdough recipe here. This was my first time making playdough and I can't say that it turned out great. It was too sticky at first and so I added more flour. Then it was too crumbly so I added oil. The consistency turned out okay, but despite my use of black food coloring--it turned out a bit more like a dark forest green. Not the best playdough and not the best activity. The children seemed to enjoy the idea of it, but not so much actually working the glitter into their playdough. J didn't like it because it was messy. Oh well.

At this point we cleared off the table and served cupcakes, pretzel rods with colored icing (light saber-esque) and juice drinks.
I used the clearance Lego Star Wars magnets as cupcake toppers. I think they looked right cute and the children were excited to get to take them home. B was kind enough to make the cupcakes and icing--white cupcakes with chocolate icing.

After we were done with the cupcakes and pretzels. It was time for these:
I had made a light saber for each child out of a pool noodle. I saw these first on Pinterest too (from here). These were so easy and so inexpensive and I love how fun and soft they are. I simple cut each pool noodle ($1 at Dollar Tree) in half with a serrated knife. Then I covered the cut end with two smaller pieces of duct tape. Then I wrapped the duct tape (I chose the shinier "Chrome" finish) around the pool noodle for a total of 4 rows. Then I used black electrical tape (2 rolls for $1 at Dollar Tree) to add the details. I did the four vertical stripes and then added the horizontal bands at the top and bottom of the duct tape. I think they turned out great and the children LOVED playing with them in the backyard. The parents appreciated how soft and safe they were. Lots of "fighting" and no injuries.
So that was J's Star Wars birthday party. It was great fun! Thanks for reading this giant post. I appreciate your dedication. Happy Monday, everyone! May the force be with you :).


Nancy said...

Great job!

Nicole B. said...

wow, so impressive! what a great party! we have animal visitors coming for W's party, but other than that i haven't started planning and (GULP) it's this saturday. eek!